Time and again I face this question or rather answer from reputed people that,
Things will happen after all the Internet is FREE
Ideally these people are rated very high in the business circles because of the success they have had in their various sectors but achieving success in one field does not make you a champion in all the other fields automatically. But how much does Sachin Tendulkar knows about the technicalities of the Ferrari F-50 Spider ? Probably next to nothing and that’s what my answer is to all those people who feel that “Internet Is FREE”.
Recently we have been meeting a lot of people, some of them high profile businessmen, some IIM-Grads and some of them who have non-Internet startups. Though most of them quite senior to me but some of them also also fall in or near my age group. Initially I thought that people in the age group > 45 do not understand the power of internet and hence they say. But when I saw that people even on the other side of the above mentioned age group not understanding the situation I had alarm bells ringing in my head that clearly said ‘this is not going to be easy’, in fact “it’s going to be very tough”.
I guess you are still wondering what that blog post topic means. Let’s get to it straightaway. Ok the internet for you is free in office, maybe at home you spend some 800 INR and get that connection working and since then you assume that it’s free.
Let me ask a very basic question, When we start our machines, what is that we do? Open our mailboxes, open some social networking sites, search for something which we require, a restaurant or a new mobile or some place or some person or anything of our interest. Now let’s say that there was no Orkut, no Facebook, no Twitter, no blogs and no Google. Then what do you do? No don’t say, if no Google then I use a Yahoo or a Bing. My question is if there was no website where you would find the information, what worth would the internet be to YOU ? If there is no content to read or browse then what do we do ? If there is no facebook or orkut then how do I stay in touch with my friends ? Obviously I can’t call everyone ! So no content results equals to no internet. Now even if you spend 800 bucks on that connection you won’t have anything to do over the internet if there’s nothing to read or see.
My point is that the Content is King, not internet. Internet might be free but it’s the content that costs. Any blog post that has been written, it requires time and effort to be written. And what I am trying to explain is that time and effort equals Money in the real world. The day labnol or mashable or chrisbrogan stop earning money from their blogs, why would they do it ? Why would starbucks do a twitter or a facebook campaign for their patrons ? Why would someone bother to answer a bad review for a Dell that a customer made on their website or somewhere else for that matter. All these things require time and effort to be put in and obviously TIME and EFFORT are equivalent to MONEY if spoken in the Layman Businessman’s language. So how could you term the Internet Free if it has no value without the CONTENT.
Well those are my views let me know what you feel, would love to engage in discussions.